Passport to World Flavors: Travel the World With Your Taste Buds in Minneapolis Northwest
You don’t need a passport to take a flavor journey around the world! As Minnesota begins to reopen, we’re excited to welcome you back to Minneapolis Northwest, where you can restart your adventures and enjoy the flavors of the world in just one stop, with special health and safety precautions in place to protect against COVID-19. From collard greens and sirracha fried rice to banh-mi and a Cajun seafood boil, we’ve got a kaleidoscope of tasty options in Minneapolis Northwest.
North America – Louisiana & Mexico
This drool-worthy Louisana-style restaurant is a favorite among some Minnesota Vikings, and it’s for good reason! For some delightfully hefty portions and full-on Cajun spices in a fun, casual and laid back atmosphere, Crazy Cajun is the place to be. Owner John Nygen grew up in Texas tasting the vibrant flavors of southern cooking. He packed up his skills and expertise and opened Crazy Cajun in 2017. It’s become a hot spot ever since with its now-famous seafood boils with fresh market seafood. Choose from crawfish, mussels, king crab, blue crab, snow crab, clams, and jumbo shrimp, then pick one of two sauces – the house garlic butter sauce (Cajun-style) or the coco sauce made of sweet coconut cream, garlic, butter, and basil leaf. From there you choose your heat level – mild, medium, hot, and fire. Add corn, potatoes and sausage to your boil and you’re set to leave full and satisfied! You can also experience the taste of fried frog legs and homemade gumbo.
Hours & Procedures: Open 4-9 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Open 2-9 p.m. on Saturday and 12-9 p.m. on Sundays. Closed on Tuesdays.
Delivery: Through Grubhub.
Dine-in: No. Hoping to offer dine-in service at limited capacity in September. Call ahead to check.
Location & Contact Info: 8578 Edinburgh Center Dr, Brooklyn Park, MN 55443. Phone: 763-568-7085.
Tacos El Paraiso
While many of us are missing relaxing all inclusive trips...Tacos El Paraiso can deliver all the flavor of Mexico, minus the baggage fees! Choose from a jam-packed menus of authentic and modern Mexican food. Choose from fish tacos, pork, steak and chicken in creative combinations. Try the Torta Hawaiana which is marinated pork, ham, pineapple, cheese, tomatoes, jalapenos and lettuce. The Torta Cubana is breaded steak, refried beans, sausage, ham, cheese, jalapenos, lettuce and tomatoes. You'll find wonderful quesadillas, nachos, fajitas, chile rellenos, just to name a few favorites. There's a children's menu and tofu dishes for vegetarians - something for everyone!
Hours & Procedures: Open Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Closed Sunday.
Delivery: Order through Grubhub.
Dine-in: Yes. Very limited capacity.
Location & Contact Info: 8582 Edinburgh Centre Dr, Brooklyn Park, MN 55443. Phone: 763-276-9379.
Irie Vybz Jamaican Restaurant
"Irie" is a Jamaican adjective describing the ultimate positive, pleasing, all-encompassing quality experience. That's a perfect way to describe the dishes at Irie Vybz Jamaican Restaurant in Brooklyn Center! Try authentic Jamaican cuisine like Jerk Chicken, Drunken Jerk Shrimp, Curry Goat, Oxtail or the Caribbean Jerk Chicken Wraps. For those of you who prefer a stateside menu, enjoy a wide selection of American options from BBQ ribs to burgers. There's something for everyone at Irie Vybz Jamaican Restaurant.
Hours & Procedures: Open Monday through Saturday, 2-8 p.m. and 3-8 p.m. on Sunday.
Takeout: View the menu here and call 763-496-1861 or use the delivery options below and select pick-up.
Location & Contact Info: 6056 Shingle Creek Pkwy, Brooklyn Center, MN 55430. Phone: 763-496-1861.
Africa – Liberia, Nigeria, & Kenya
Enjoy slow-cooked collard greens, perfectly spiced goat curry, and tender Kenyan flatbread at Jambo Africa. Delicious, authentic African recipes are made from scratch and include oxtail, curry stew, chicken wings, jollof rice, plantains, sambusas and more. Also enjoy African coffee, tea and wines. Apart from being a destination for tasty African cuisine in the Midwest, Jambo Africa is a center for experiencing African culture thousands of miles from the continent.
Hours & Procedures: Open Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Kitchen closes at 7:30 p.m.)
Location & Contact Info: 1601 Freeway Blvd, Brooklyn Center, MN. Telephone: 763-208-1456.
Mama Ti’s African Kitchen
Just a few miles from Jambo Africa, you’ll find Mama Ti’s African Kitchen, also serving up some of the best African dishes in Minneapolis Northwest. Kabobs, seasoned wings, fried fish, jollof rice, oxtails, couscous, fried okra, collard greens and more provide a wide range of choices. You can purchase select food items from their store, such as Palava Sauce, Palm Butter Soup, Kitily Torborgee and Cassava Leaf, so you can bring African flavors to your home. With any meal, you’ll want to pick up Mama Ti’s West African Ginger Beer (non-alcoholic). For centuries, cultures have used ginger for its medicinal benefits extracted from ginger root. Adding water, sugar cane juice, crushed pineapples, and lemon make Mama Ti’s Ginger Beer the perfect beverage to pair with your meal.
Hours & Procedures: Open Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Closed on Sundays. All staff have temperature checks daily and the facility is frequently sanitized.
Location & Contact Info: 7800 Zane Ave N, Brooklyn Park, MN 55443. Phone: 763-566-1009
Asia – Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, China & India
Lemon Grass Thai
Lemon Grass Thai in Brooklyn Park offers more by keeping things simple and local. Head Chef and Owner Ann Sengmavong has fused Thai with global palates since 2005 and is inspired by her travels across the U.S., Asia and Europe. The result of her creativity and expertise is colorful and original dishes that transport customers to other worlds. "This is not the typical Thai restaurant," says Ann. And with globe lights and fresh flowers in the renovated dining room, you'll have a unique urban dining experience right here in the northwest metro. The menu at Lemon Grass Thai is as varied as Chef Ann’s travels around the globe. Everything from curries and rice entrees, to finger-licking appetizers and lunch specials, there is truly something for everyone. In addition to the many Thai favorites on the menu, customers can enjoy watching the magic happen at the sushi bar, as chefs expertly craft beautiful, fresh sushi rolls. Traditional favorites like the Unagi Roll, California Roll and Spicy Salmon Roll are sure to satisfy, but if you want to dine outside the box, opt for one of the many specialty rolls.
Hours & Procedures: Open Wednesdays and Thursdays, 4-8:30 p.m. Open 4-9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 4-8:30 p.m. on Sundays.
Takeout: View the menu here and call 763-494-8809.
Dine-in: Now available! Reservations required here, through Resy. Reservations are limited to six people per one family or a group of four people. If you are running late, call 763-494-8809. The restaurant will hold your table for a grace period of 15 minutes before considering you a no-show. Due to limited seating capacity, there is a 24-hour cancellation fee of $10 per person and a table limit of 90 minutes. If you need to cancel because you believe you have COVID-19, contact the restaurant and they will work with you on a last-minute cancellation.
Additional info: Lemon Grass Thai is now a no tipping operation. A 15% surcharge will be added to all orders to support wages and benefits to the entire team. Pursuant to Minnesota Statute Section 177.23, Subdivision 9. More info on their COVID procedures here.
Location & Contact Info: 8600 Edinburgh Centre Dr, Brooklyn Park, MN 55443. Phone: 763-494-8809.
Mi-Sant Banh Mi
Mi-Sant Banh Mi takes its customers on a flavor journey to both Vietnam with flavors like pickled carrots and daikons, cucumbers, and cilantro and France with fresh breakfast, crossaints, pastries and baguette. Grab a bite to eat with its drive-through window and enjoy the satisifying crunch of taste and textures of the classic banh mi sandwich, made with fresh baguette, along with crisp and fresh vegetables and perfectly seasoned meats like grilled pork, Vietnamese ham or bulgogi beef. And you can't go wrong with its fresh noodle bowls. Grab the Mi-Sant Special bowl for the perfect sampling of flavors with your choice of rice or noodles, lettuce, cucumbers, mint, cilantro, pickled carrots & daikons, grilled pork, fried egg, peanuts, plus an egg roll. Don't forget to grab an order of fresh spring rolls, always made fresh, on-the-spot, and bursting with flavor, whether its Korean Bulgogi, Lemongrass Chicken, shrimp, Nem Nuong (grilled pork sausage) and more!
Hours & Procedures: Open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Closed Sunday.
Location & Contact Info: 8540 Edinburgh Centre Dr, Brooklyn Park, MN 55443. Phone: 763-355-5947.
Que Viet Village House III
The Vietnam adventure continues at Que Viet Village House III, the longest-running Vietnamese Restaurant in Minnesota. Que Viet is known for its pho, but the handmade egg rolls are the real scene stealer! Created from a simple home recipe, these egg rolls are a real standout, bursting with flavorful ground pork and vermicelli in a crispy shell and served with an unforgettable fish sauce dip! And at the end of summer, you can find these elusive appetizers as giant egg rolls on a stick at the great Minnesota Get-Together, the Minnesota State Fair! The State Fair specialty made Food Network’s list of “America’s Best Foods on a Stick.”
While the Minnesota State Fair will not be taking place this summer, you can still pick up a giant egg roll on a stick and cream cheese wontons at the Minnesota State Fair Food Parade, Aug. 20-23, 27-30 and Sept. 3-7!
Hours & Procedures: Open Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. and 4-7:45 p.m. Open Sunday 4-7:45 p.m.
Delivery: Order through Postmates.
Location & Contact Info: 6100 Brooklyn Blvd, Brooklyn Center, MN 55430. Phone: 763-560-0215.
Final stop on the Vietnam flavor journey — MT Noodles! Family and traditions intermingle to create unforgettable homemade recipes and handmade sauces at this family owned eatery. With more than three decades of experience, there’s a story behind every dish. MT Noodles is named after Mỹ Tho, a city in South Viet Nam where Chef Anh Bui was born. This highly-regarded restaurant has gained a strong following and its fair share of media coverage. MT Noodles Voted Best Vietnamese Restaurant in the Twin Cities 2017 and has been featured on Twin Cities Live, and in City Pages and Eater Minneapolis.
Hours & Procedures: Open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Open Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Closed Wednesday.
Dine-in: Yes. Limited capacity.
Location & Contact Info: 8459 West Broadway, Brooklyn Park, MN 55445. Phone: 763-315-3055.
Rolls & Bowls Asian Cook House
Flavors of Thailand, Vietnam and Japan unite at Rolls & Bowls Asian Cook House! You’ll be welcomed with bright colors and plenty of quirky décor that makes you feel like you’re somehow in multiple countries all at once. Keep your eyes peeled and take it all in from the Fortune Cat (also known as Maneki-neko, a common Japanese figurine which is often believed to bring good luck to the owner) to the pop art wall and menu display board filled with emojis. The menu is filled with a variety of bowls, you can choose from like Pho, Poke, & Ramen. They’re known for their different options that will broaden your taste such as Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches, four season rolls and house special meals. If you love to customize your own food, build your own poke bowl, loaded bowl, or noodle salad bowl! Finish off with some traditional Vietnamese coffee and freshly made sweet dessert or refresh with a smoothie filled tapoica pearls or gummies. Stop in for happy hour and enjoy its freshly infused sake in flavors like watermelon and pineapple.
Hours & Procedures: Open Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Open Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Delivery: Order through Grubhub.
Dine-in: Yes. Very limited capacity. Check out their Facebook page for a special coupon valid only for dine-in through Sept. 1.
Location & Contact Info: 9656 Colorado Lane N, Brooklyn Park, MN 55445. Phone: 763-762-8931.
Fine Indian cuisine is just minutes away at Tandoor Indian in Maple Grove. Start out with some freshly made naan bread, baked in a traditional Tandoor oven. Go with the house naan or spice it up a bit with garlic or cheese options, or Pashwari Naan, made with raisin, pistachio and ghee. The restaurant also has a kids menu for pickier eaters. It uses the freshest ingredients and make everything from scratch daily! With their variety of classic dishes, like tandoori and biryani, Tandoor’s goal is to provide the absolute finest dining experience.
Hours & Procedures: Open Tuesday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5-9 p.m. Open Friday 5-10 p.m. Open Saturday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5-9 p.m. and Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 2 :30 p.m. and 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Delivery: Order online here.
Dine-in: Yes. Limited Capacity.
Location & Contact Info: 15607 Grove Circle N, Maple Grove, MN 55369. Phone: 763-898-3805.
Pizza Karma brings together a very unique flavor combo — pizza and Indian food! So, it's kind of like a trip to India with stop in Italy. Pizza Karma makes its pizzas with the highest quality ingredients and flavors from around the world on its signature naan crust. Enjoy a paneer or tandoor-roasted veggie pizza, or build your own with a variety of unique toppings.
Hours & Procedures: Open Monday through Thursday 4-9 p.m. and Friday through Sunday noon to 9 p.m.
Dine-in: Yes and their patio is open as well. Reservations are not required, but guests are required to wear a face mask upon entering. The staff is masked at all times.
Location & Contact Info: 15607 Grove Circle N, Maple Grove, MN 55369. Phone: 763-898-3805.
Europe – Italy & Greece
Sweet Taste of Italy
Speaking of Italy... Grab your Vespa scooter and head to Sweet Taste of Italy for some impressive Italian dishes, made from scratch every day. From the fresh bread made and baked in store to whipping its own butter and grinding the cheese for homemade lasagna. Come into the quaint restaurant for a delicious pasta dish with its secret red sauce, or try a sandwich loaded with our hand-sliced meats and cheese.
Hours & Procedures: Open Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Delivery: Order through DoorDash.
Location & Contact Info: 9576 Noble Pkwy N, Brooklyn Park, MN 55443. Phone: 763-493-4733.
Close your eyes and imagine you're sitting at the top of the the Greek Island of Santorini, looking down at the deep blue sea as you're surrounded by the vibrant and colorful Greek homes... If you can't committ to the full trip to Greece, you can dine on fresh foods made from scratch by Greek chefs at Olympia Cafe and Gyros. The restaurant in downtown Osseo offers a plethora of traditional Greek items like gyros, Greek Salad, Spanakopita and more, plus a delicious full breakfast menu no matter what time of day. And for those not so inclined to experience Greek food, Olympia also has a strong lineup of American classics, including wraps, burgers, breakfast, fish, ribs, we have it all!
Hours & Procedures: Open Tuesday through Friday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday 8 a.m. to 3. p.m. Closed Monday.
Takeout: View the menu here and call 763-424-3935.
Delivery: Order through DoorDash.
Dine-in: Yes. They are seating at 50% capacity and reservations must be made. Face masks are required upon entry, and the staff is masked at all times.
Location & Contact Info: 247 Central Ave, Osseo, MN 55369. Phone: 763-424-3935.
Looking for more fun foodie adventures to explore?! Check out Shop the Many Markets of Minneapolis Northwest and Where to (Safely) Eat and Drink in Minneapolis Northwest During Patio Season and find out where you can support Black-owned businesses in Minneapolis Northwest. Share your adventures with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #WeLoveMNW!
About the Author
- Natalie Conrad
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